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7 a.m. Pooler Recreation Center: A few people in line as they waited for the doors to open. Noteworthy about Pooler: There were no early voting sites close by for the runoff, and precinct early voting numbers appear to be low. At precincts on Pooler Parkway near the Tanger Outlets there were 15 people in line early, and the precinct manager said the stream of voters was small and steady.
9 a.m.: Savannah Civic Center had no lines. This site was a popular early voting site for the runoff and general elections.
9:30 a.m. Chatham County Isle of Hope Baptist Church, St. Thomas Episcopal Church: No lines at all for precincts that usually show an early flurry and one later in the day. Both precincts swing reliably for Republican candidates.
Mid-morning Glynn County: Voting in coastal Glynn County Tuesday morning was brisk but not nearly as heavy as it was for the Nov. 3 election. At polling stations across the county of 85,000 were busy, but none reported delays in voting.
At the polling place at 573 Palisade Drive near I-95, a steady stream of white voters, nearly all of them white, voted without waiting. This is the polling place for Satilla Shores, the subdivision where Ahmaud Arbery was shot to death on Feb. 23 last year. Of about a dozen voters interviewed, few mentioned Leoffler or Perdue by name, but nearly all mentioned President Trump and the fight against socialism. Most accepted that Biden will be the next president.
Joey Harrison said he was voting to preserve the Republican majority in the Senate. “It was a pretty easy decision,” he said. “I was thinking about where our country has been and where it’s headed,” he said.
Even though he was well aware of the allegations of fraud in Georgia election, he expressed no doubt that Joe Biden would be sworn in as president on Jan. 20.
He said the tape of Trump’s attempt to pressure Raffensperger into changing the outcome of the vote in Georgia had no influence on his decision.
“I’m not really sure what I make of that call,” he said. Elections officials were expecting heavy turnout in Glynn County based on early voting. Nearly 20,000 had voted early and 7,700 absentee ballots had arrived before election day.
2:30 p.m. Garden City: At 2:30pm at the First Baptist Church in Garden City (precinct 8-15) a total of 138 voters had cast ballots Tuesday. That’s around a 30% increase over past runoff elections, according to the precinct manager. Early voting was also strong, a fact she chalks it up to all the events that the Democrats have had in this Savannah suburb, including Kamala Harris’ rally last weekend. At lunchtime there were no lines, but cars bearing signs of predominantly Black fraternities and sororities kept pulling up with drivers anxious to have their voices heard. “They’ve paid attention to us and that matters,” said Shawna Johnson, 24, about the surge of interest among her friends.
3 p.m. Savannah Christian Preparatory School on Chatham Parkway, Savannah: Poll workers have welcomed 111 voters since 7 a.m. Poll workers said there were no lines through the morning and things have gone smoothly.
3:01 p.m. Riceboro precinct, Liberty County: Joseph Wynn was among 107 voters at Liberty County’s Riceboro precinct Tuesday.
Asked what was at stake for him in the runoff, he said, “Everything. I’m about to retire. Health insurance, benefits, better schools for our children, benefits for our senior citizens, affordable housing, healthcare.”
Wynn, born and raised here, is set to retire soon from SNF Chemtall after 21 years of working there.
Healthcare is of particular concern, Wynn said, “because we have a lot of senior citizens, especially in the Riceboro and Liberty County, and they got to decide whether they’re going to buy medications or food and that’s a big concern for me.”
“When you done worked all your life and you struggling to pay for medication or struggling to eat, I got a problem with it.”
About Trump’s phone call with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, his reaction was blunt: “That was crazy.”
He said he is confident in Georgia’s election system.
3:20 p.m. Midway precinct: Alexis Cummings, who works at the blood bank in Savannah’s Memorial Health University Medical Center, said she is hoping for change.
“This is a very important election,” Cummings said. “I don’t feel like the incumbents really have my best interests at heart. I feel like they’re more so concerned with people who are upper class, who make a lot more money than I do. They don’t really seem concerned about issues that affect black and brown individuals like myself and my children.”
The 30-year-old calls Brunswick home. It’s the city where, a little less than a year ago, teenager Ahmaud Arbery was gunned down by two white men as he jogged in the Satilla Shores neighborhood.
The slaying of Arbery, who is black, was caught on camera. The charges against the two men charged with murder were only brought after a video of the killing went viral and a new district attorney was assigned to the case.
“I have friends and family who were very close to this young man,” Cummings said. “I’ve not seen either one of the incumbents have any type of statement towards what happened in my hometown, that’s a disgrace. And I feel like they have to go.”
3:30 p.m. Southside Fire Training Center, Dean Forest Road, Chatham County: More than 300 voters had come through so far, but 10 workers had no voters at that time. A small line was waiting when precinct 7-13 opened, and poll workers said that was normal.
4 p.m. Midway precinct, Liberty County: Patrick Harper and his girlfriend showed up to vote at Midway poll in Liberty County but were told they would need to travel to Fleming to vote.
“This is a very important vote,” he said. “I have stands that I believe in and there’s a lot of them that if the vote goes the wrong way right now it’s going to hurt for a while I think. … I feel like a bunch of our freedoms are at stake. That’s as round as I can put it.”
Harper has lived in Liberty County for 16 years and builds docks for a living.
4:40 p.m. Thunderbolt Municipal Building precinct: Jennifer Farrell and her son, Jesse Johnson, moved to Savannah from New Jersey a decade ago. Both voted in a matter of minutes at the poll in Thunderbolt.
Farrell said she wants to see change.
“If we can get some things taken care of, maybe get the minimum wage up a little bit, I mean, it’s ridiculous,” Farrell said. “It’s been that for like, 20 years, it’s been $7. I mean, things go up. People need to live. You know? It’s just crazy.”
5 p.m. Thunderbolt: April Murray, a native of Thunderbolt, said voting in every election is important, a value she said she didn’t fully realize in her younger years.
“You realize things and you don’t really know until you – nothing really affects you until you start looking at things,” the 39-year-old hair stylist said. “Now I’m getting older … I have a little girl coming, I have kids. So, yeah, it matters a whole lot.”
“I just hope we get someone that wants to help everyone, not just profit for themselves,” Murray said. “That’s all you can hope for. You can’t really expect nothing less than if you don’t vote.”
5:15 p.m. Chatham County Board of Elections office, Eisenhower Drive: Ebony Carter made a FaceTime video of herself as she dropped her absentee ballot into the secure drop box at the county election headquarters on Eisenhower Drive.
“I voted Democrat,” she said. “I’m just so sick of the lying every day. It was the children in cages, the Muslim Ban. Just everything. I’m just so glad Trump lost. It makes me giddy,” she said. “I’ve been so busy that I just didn’t have time to vote before now. But I was determined to get it done. Even if I had to take an Uber I was going to get it done.”
5:27 p.m. Chatham County election workers at the main board office are printing maps and redirecting would-be voters to their appropriate precincts to vote before polls close at 7 p.m.
Margaret Coker, Laura Corley, Susan Catron, and Bert Roughton contributed to this report. Got a precinct story or photo? Send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.